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A "Note" from music

 At Union Elementary school, music can be found ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE! This past month in music class, the second and third graders learned about the way musical instruments can be used to “enhance” a story or book, or make it more exciting. As a class, we read the book Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester- illustrated by Lynn Munsinger- and we used our own musical “illustration” to add some color for our ears! For example, when Tacky’s five “pretty penguin” companions dove gracefully into the water, we used a beautiful chime from the finger cymbals. However, when Tacky dove into the water, he was much less graceful, so we used crash cymbals to represent his splashy cannonball.

These instruments are part of the percussion family, and music writers, or composers, have been using percussion to create different sound effects in their compositions for centuries. An example of this would be when Leroy Anderson uses jingle bells, wood blocks, and the “whip” in his version of the popular winter classic, Sleigh Ride.

To extend this lesson, the students worked with a partner to create their own “arctic tale,” with characters, a conflict, and a resolution. Then they were able to choose a few instruments to represent the characters and actions in their story. Finally, each pair performed their story with sound effects! The students showed a lot of interest in this project and were very engaged in their stories, and we hope to create more exciting “sound stories” in the future!

Written by: Amber Mattatall, Music/Chorus Director
Posted: Feb 01, 2013 by Jennifer Williams

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